The Minister for Employment & Workplace Relations today announced assistance to employees affected by the closure of transport company, Coastal Express.
The Minister has decided to use her discretion to ensure that the workers are entitled to access the General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme (GEERS), as the company is unlikely to recover from its financial situation.
Yesterday, Coastal Express closed, resulting in the termination of employment of 25-30 workers. It is unclear at this time whether the company has any funds to cover outstanding employee entitlements.
The Minister’s sympathy goes out to these workers and their families at this time, so close to Christmas and hopes this decision provides some comfort.
The Minister strongly encourages all affected workers to contact Centrelink. Retrenched workers will be eligible for job search support assistance with a Job Network member.
The Minister has asked the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations to work closely with the administrator to achieve the best possible outcome for these workers.
The Australian Government will provide swift financial assistance to support those eligible employees who remain out of pocket due to their employer's inability to provide them with their entitlements.
On Tuesday 18 December 2007, GEERS payments totalling $1.2 million were processed by the Department for 72 Integrated Forest Products employees.
GEERS assistance is available for unpaid wages, annual leave, long service leave, payment in lieu of notice and redundancy up to a maximum of 16 weeks.
GEERS assistance is also available for unremitted employee superannuation contributions. Unremitted employer contributions are covered by legislative requirements, enforced by the Treasurer.
The administrator, Lawler Partners, is providing claim forms for GEERS assistance to the former employees of Coastal Express.